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October 2016
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The chances are there will be no more Sagna’s, RVP’s, Nasri’s…

By Tony Attwood

Arsène Wenger really didn’t bother himself with the thought of Man City popping in to pick up Jack Wilshere.

He didn’t have to for three very good reasons.

First, there is no question of Arsenal not being able to compete in terms of salaries and transfers.  If Arsenal want to keep a player, they can afford to keep him.  Of course we can’t compete with Real Mad and Barcelona because they are special cases in terms of deals with local authorities, tax breaks, rule breaking in terms of young players etc.  But for clubs without that sort of messing with the books, yes we can compete.

Second, players don’t want to leave.  Because of the “4th isn’t a trophy” scenario players know they will be playing in the Champions League, and they know we will be challenging even the clubs with infinite sums of money, and all the clever tricks like pull like getting the state to subsidise the stadium, co-owning clubs all over the world, and taking the loan system to breaking point.

Third, because Arsenal has stability, as witness by the successful seeing off of the challenge of those who demanded Wenger out.  Had the aaa won, then we would be seen as a club of instability, a bit like Man City, but instead our reputation is intact.

Which is in part why Jack Wilshere isn’t going anywhere.  For even the silliest of footballers can look at the list of players that Manchester City has taken from Arsenal, and think, hang on, what happened to their careers?

Here’s the list in case you have forgotten: Emmanuel Adebayor, Kolo Touré, Samir Nasri, Gaël Clichy and Bacary Sagna.  Throughout there is a feeling that careers that could have been extended and glowing have faded faster than might have been expected.

So this summer Arsenal might sell or give away one or two players to whom they are no longer able to offer regular game time.  But that will be on Arsenal’s terms.

Instead we will primarily be looking to buy.  But who?  Here are ten in no particular order…

But before that consider this.  Who are we going to edge out to make way for these players?   This season the idea has been that we need

a) A goalkeeper, but Ospina has proven himself to be rather good.

b) Central defenders, but we have three, with the option of bringing in any one of three of the full backs if two of them get injured.

c) Full backs, but by my calculation we have five and can only play two at once.  Plus Jenkinson on loan.

d) Defensive midfielder.  We have Coquelin and Arteta, with Flamini as extra backup, and there is talk of the Ox playing there.

e) Midfield.  There’s so many we would have to re-organise quite a lot.  Those who claimed that Ozil was rubbish will just have to accept that most of us don’t agree.

f) Forward.  Same again with Giroud.  The man so berated, while Untold was “embarrassing” with its endless comparisons between the number of goals Giroud scored against the number Henry scored, but what is the point of bringing someone in ahead of Giroud at this moment?

And don’t forget the promise of Welbeck, the brilliance of Alexis, and the fact that Theo might get himself back together.

But anyway, it is now enshrined in law that we have to talk about transfers.  So here are the ten for today.  And remember, there’s plenty more where these came from.

1:  £33 million to sign Porto forward Yacine Brahimi

2:  Charlton’s Joe Gomez; a right-back and centre-back

3:  André-Pierre Gignac of Marseilles who is out of contract in the summer.  He’s 29 and is a striker or a winger,

4: Morgan Schneiderlin the French midfielder has been on everyone’s list so long one might think he had actually signed already but he hasn’t.

 5:  Raphaël Varane: he’s French, he plays central defender, and he is with Real Madrid.
6:  Alexandre Lacazette.  He is a forward, he’s 23 and he plays for Lyon.
7:  The 25 year old German defensive midfielder with a brother.  Yes it must be Lars Bender
8:  Petr Čech.   You know who he is, but do we need another keeper? Ooooospina is doing well, Szchcshcz will seemingly hang about on the wings, and people who know about such things say that Emiliano Martinez is even more superb.  Anyway, would Chelsea really sell to us?
9:  Younès Kaboul is Tottenham’s captain and a central defender.  And we have had one of those before – to great effect.  OK it is worthwhile just to annoy the other lot, but even so…
10.  Maximilian Meyer 19 years old attacking midfielder who plays for Schalke 04

The books

21 comments to The chances are there will be no more Sagna’s, RVP’s, Nasri’s…

  • Midoki

    Calum Chambers may be able to play right back but isn’t Wenger the one to say? He says his long term future appears to be in the middle, he has said that from day 1 and he has played CB.

    So that makes our CB count 4, not 3… more numbers to make your argument better 😛

    Talk about the Ox playing as a holding CM? Please link that to me as I have NEVER heard that and I am an avid Arsenal fan… I have heard from the Ox himself (interviews etc) that he would like to play more central but as a box 2 box… Where has he ever said (or Wenger) that he can play the holding role?

  • Fat Mike

    I think you’re wring on this, as long as Man city continue to break FFP they can offer double what Arsenal can offer, this is what happened with Sagna. RVP and Nasri both wanted to join teams more likely to win the title with an added bonus of a pay rise. So Arsenal can still lose players along as there is an other club in the prem that is operating on different pay scales.

  • Pete

    Dont forget Hayden at Centre Back.

    And I would have Coquelin over Schneiderlin every day of the week. No real weaknesses in the squad at present as far as I am concerned. Just strengths – all over the park.

    Just one mega player in the Ozil/Sanchez bracket – and in a position of the Manager’s choosing. If anyone at all. That will do me fine.

  • Jammy J

    I think the only place that we really need to invest in is back-up for Coquelin. Would love to see Arsenal buying Rues and Draxler, but we are already so filled in those positions that its more of a want than a necessity.

  • mak

    i will say it again. giroud is the best player for the system that arsene is implementing starting from 2012 and we are seeing the effect by winning cups and will win titles. about ozil, what can we say other than to let Owen and co to assess his playing since they are world’s best coaches. about the team, i am satisfied with the personal that we have and i won’t hate to see addition if they are like ozil and alexis. about you, i thank you greatly cos you were my hope and guidance whenever arsenal was in a bad situation and i get strength and hope to go and watch arsenal after every hard defeat after reading your post and your thought. you’re a great arsenal fans and sorry for the broken English cos i am not from the English speaking country.

  • John Abraham

    I support Pete,s position on this. We are well stocked in all positions as long as the players stay healthy. One mega buy in any position the Manager chooses should be fine. The wayI’ see it, this present squad can challenge for and win the title next season.’

  • Andy Mack

    If rumours are true, Sagna was offered a deal that Arsenal wouldn’t want to match (Even though they can) and Nasri will go anywhere they’ll offer him €5 a week more.
    I’m not sure we’d have matched the RvP terms either as he’s been paid an awful lot on a 4 year deal when we know he won’t be fully fit for more than 2 years of the contract.

    Conclusion; We (der management) can now pay anyone what we think they’re worth, rather than what we can afford.

  • Nonny


    The most important thing as a club is to ensure that no player holds the club at ransom. No player no matter how good he is is bigger than the club/team cos he needs his team mates as much as they need him be he Ronaldo Messi joined together.

    RvP and co held the club at ransom in the past cos we were helpless due to lack of funds. Today, not even Walcott or any other player can do it again cos the club has stabilized and can easily replace that player.

    On the transfer front, I see a replacement for Flamini whose contract is ending and maybe another AM if Walcott does not extend his contract in the summer and is sold. Also Podolski and Campbell might be sold too causing need for this AM. I’d really like it to be Reus No new CB/RB/LB and Martinez replaces Shezzy as no. 2 if he leaves. Also I don’t forsee a new CF. Giroud has enough support in Welbeck, Sanogo, Sanchez and Akpom.

  • Menace

    There we go again, the news is that Theo wants to play for Loserpool & Sterling wants to be a gunner. Well that is not the way it should be but if Theo is dim enough to feel Arsenal are not his club, then he has my blessing & he will learn the lessons. Personally I think he will sign the contract when we win the FA cup & EPL double.

  • GoingGoingGooner

    It is rare that all players on a team are happy with their playing time and their salaries. Some would rather be a bigger fish in a smaller pond (e.g. Liverpool) and be paid slightly more. Some would rather be part of a team with a vision and a upwards direction (e.g. Arsenal).

  • Jerry

    excellent article as usual! Amazing to see how strong this squad is when healthy.

    Tony is right, Arsenal/Wenger have stated in the past that the Ox’s future role lies as a deep lying midfielder by the 2018 World Cup:

  • Brickfields Gunners

    Other Arsenal players sold to Man City in earlier times were Paul Dickov and Niall Quinn.
    Former City players who have fallen by the wayside and some even lower include Jolean Lescott , Jack Rodwell , Micheal Johnson and Scott Sinclair , who all were or were potential England players .
    Our Jack could always ask them for some pointers !

  • Horsham Gooner

    I thought Calum Chambers was seen by Arsene Wenger as a defensive midfield player, not a centre back.
    However, the one position I would like to see improved is that of goalkeeper. Yes, Ospina is good, but I would move Heaven and Earth to get Manuel Neuer. Difficult? Well Arsenal certainly pay the salaries now. Champions League? Another regular experience. So why not leave a one-team league for a real challenge?
    To back up my comment; I remember Brian Clough, having got Forest into the top division signing Peter Shilton because he believed that Shilton would save Forest twenty points a season. He wasn’t wrong.

  • Brickfields Gunners

    Reading the fine print ……

    The Senior Prenuptial Agreement

    An elderly couple reaching their 70s are about to get married, but before they say their vows, the woman wanted to talk.

    She said: “I want to keep my house.”

    He said: “That’s fine with me.”

    She said: “I want to keep my Cadillac.”

    He said: “That’s fine with me.”

    She said: “And I want to have sex 6 times a week.”

    He said: “Put me down for Fridays.”

  • Rich

    Of all the rumours, the ones that make most sense to me are the young South Americans and the Charlton player Gomez: our squad is strong, the transfer market will almost certainly reach crazy new heights in the coming years, a well calculated risk on some of the best prospects who have not yet played top level football (that’s the risk-buying before you’ve seen them make the final, vital step) makes a lot of sense.

    All big clubs may well have similar ideas, and I am sure it is nothing at all new for us to be interested in those kind of players, but that combination of our healthy finances, strong squad, and the transfer market being almost guaranteed to change dramatically with the influx of cash from the new tv deal, leaves us in a position where should you get one such deal right in a big way, another two or three are comfortably covered, and should you get a couple of them right, well, that represents a tremendous boon at a time when the price of established stars may well have become even higher.

    I’ve no idea if there’ll be an Ozil or Sanchez type purchase this year, there seems less need and less chance of it happening, but I do expect us to be busy with a well-targeted policy for some outstanding younger prospects.

  • apo Armani

    hmmm well lets see; Na$ri going from a standard starter and integral part of our line-up to getting a game if he is lucky, Robin (one season wonder) Purstrings,and finally our old loyal friend Sagna (whom I can’t criticize), but sure have thought – during our last two games featuring Belerin, how refreshing it was to have fresh legs flying down the flank, technical ability to beat his opposite numbers and score – instead of tamely running half-way down the pitch and then cutting back with a pass infield 🙂 Bright days ahead!!!

  • Menace

    When a player walks away from Arsenal, he walks alone. The team that he leaves behind will go on. Wenger has set up a squad that plays a system and any one or three players can be replaced from within.

    Arsenal play Wengerball & every one of the players look fantastic in the team. Outside of the team there is greed so players that look good may be left hungry (or should I say will be left hungry).

  • @Swales1968

    I was told on Facebook last night that I was in a minority of Arsenal fans who want JW to stay at Arsenal. Despite attempts by the person claiming this I have yet to make it into a minority.

    The thing I can not understand with Arsenal fans is that for years they have moaned of a weak squad with no back up. Now it seems to some that we have too many players and that many should be sold this summer. Why do we not look at our squad see where it is thin and also who we as a club can buy and then decide if necessary who to sell on or to allow out on loan. Arsenal fans really confuse me sometimes, what is more confusing is that there seems to be a little band of attention seekers who now think they are celebraties because they call up ‘talk sprout’ and talk to Hadrian Cumbria, Karen Cough and Jason Cringey on drive time and in the evenings. What next a love in with Stan Collywobbles???

  • para

    Hear hear.
    No more wondering “who will it be” this season.

  • Micheal Ram

    A human heart is never fulfill no matter what is given. The current Arsenal team is the most balanced team I know since the ‘Invincibles’. A perfect blend of finesse and grit. And they will only improve better. Just like a portrait, only certain colours can make it beautiful. A candy colour might spoil the whole painting. As a classic Frenchman, only AW will know what other colours needed to make it better. Guys, lay off his back, let him be the sole painter and let the rest of us look and admire it every season.

  • Brickfields Gunners

    Honesty , loyalty and just rewards ….

    A brunette, a redhead and a blond all worked in the same office with the same female boss. Every day, they noticed their boss left work early.

    One day, the girls decided that when the boss left, they’d leave right behind her. After all, she never called in or came back to the office when she left early, so how was she to know?

    The next day, they all three left the office right after the boss left. The brunette was thrilled to be home early. She did a little gardening and went to bed early.

    The redhead was elated to be able to get in a quick workout at the health club before meeting her dinner date.

    The blonde was very very happy to be home, but when she got to the bedroom she heard a muffled noise from inside. Slowly, quietly, she cracked open the door and was mortified to see her husband in bed with HER BOSS.

    Ever so gently, she closed the door and crept out of her house. The next day at coffee break, the brunette and redhead decided they were leaving early again, and asked the blonde if she was coming with them.

    “NO WAY,” she exclaimed, “I almost got caught yesterday!”